Egyptian Gods

Ancient Egyptians had such a complicated spiritual world that was completely unique in concepts and details. Most religions and spiritual paths in the ancient and the modern world couldn’t really compete with the complexity and might of the ancient Egyptian religion, that some people today still strongly believe in, though the ancient nation incarnated into a form that got it completely out of its glory.

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

Although we know hundreds and hundreds of Egyptian gods by name, we know very few in details, that is not a surprise, since the country witnessed strong religious revolutions and religious invaders. But it is also important to state that the study of Egyptian religion and gods is a very viral topic. Every now and then we learn something new about the ancient Egyptian spirituality, not only from the huge temples in Thebes, modern Luxor, and Aswan, but even from the humble house of the common ancient Egyptian man; like those we discovered at Deir el-Medina, the workmen’s little town.

The statues and images we see throughout Egypt can only reflect the appreciation and power the Egyptian gods had over ancient Egypt on either its national and individual aspects. Many, probably most, ancient Egyptians used to see these images as manifestation to the most powerful beings in their lives and in the afterlives as well. Makes one wonder whether it is fear or love that got the ancient Egyptians so obsessed about their gods.

Birth of the Egyptian Gods

Egyptian gods apparently existed long before the construction of the ancient Egyptian nation as a unified state. And though that gives us an idea about how old those ancient deities are, it leaves us no clear details of the nature of those gods, since this period of history didn’t witness any record of a written language in Egypt.

One of the most interesting discoveries that got today’s Egyptologist to believe that the Egyptian gods are that old is that ancient Egyptian used to care so much about burying their death in certain ritual ways, even before the construction of the dynastic administration. Not only their human death were cared for that much in the afterlife, it’s also some of their animals, they seem to have been buried according to strict standards, that usually doesn’t construct outside religion, which requires a god or gods.

Power of the Egyptian Gods

Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses enjoyed huge power over Egypt’s social, political and, of course, spiritual aspects. The ruling pharaoh ruled the country in the name of those Egyptian gods, so it was essential for the pharaoh to provide the gods all the protection they needed to stay in power. Temples are probably the most magnificent manifestation of the might of the Egyptian gods, Egyptians spent so much on those temples that would equal many countries GDP’s today. The main reason for that is obviously the great importance Egyptian gods had in the country.

Apart from the political power, Egyptian gods also enjoyed huge social power over the common Egyptian man’s every-day’s life. Many ritual figures and spots were found within the typical ancient Egyptian middle-class houses, that shows that not only powerful pharaohs held great honor to the Egyptian gods, but it is also the common man, who dedicated much of his time and hard-earned “salary” to demonstrate his love, respect and need of the Egyptian gods.

Forms and Manifestations

When Egyptian gods first came into existence, ancient Egyptians pictured them in forms of animals. Cows, dogs and falcons were obviously the first few animals that manifested the gods. Later, as man started gaining more confidence in his formation and power, he started picturing gods in his own form. Those who manifested the Egyptian gods were usually powerful beings. Lion, for example, was physically the strongest animal in the country, while cows portrayed a huge social might since they gave life and also milk, which helped the continuation of life.

Egyptian Gods were usually visualized in manifold ways, this clears up the most in the term “nester”, the ancient Egyptian word meaning “god”, this term that had so many meanings within its small construction. The word was recorded to mean wider meaning than just our understanding of the word “god”; it could address a royal person, spirits and demons and sometimes even a monster, such as the Apophis, the chaos serpent. Egyptian gods dictated the major part of the ancient Egyptian spirituality, but still they were not alone in the invisible world. Ancient Egyptians also had different supernatural beings to fear and to contact when needed, such as demons and spirits.

The existence of those beings dates way back to the earliest stage of the construction of the Egyptian spirituality.

List of Major Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

“The Hidden One,” omnipresent and unknowable king of the gods.

Jackal-headed Egyptian god of mummification and escort of the dead.

Ancient Egyptian goddess with the head of a cat, guardian of pregnant women.

Egyptian earth god ruling over fertility, fresh water, earthquakes, and snakes.

Cow-headed Egyptian goddess of love, marriage, and motherhood.

Falcon-headed Egyptian god of sun and sky, the embodiment of kingship.

Powerful Egyptian goddess and healer, devoted to her family.

Egyptian goddess best known for seducing Osiris and giving birth to Anubis.

Powerful Egyptian goddess of the sky, her body kept the earth from drowning.

“The Mighty One,” Egyptian god of the underworld and judge of the dead.

The divine sculptor, ancient Egyptian god of craftsmen, the arts, and creativity

Creator deity of the Egyptians, god of the sun and keeper of cosmic order.

Wily trickster of the Egyptian gods, spreading disorder across the land.

Ibis-headed Egyptian god of the moon, medicine, science, and magic.